Our group enjoys being outdoors! Nature is our classroom. We appreciate learning all around Camp Herms in El Cerrito 3 weeks a month, and throughout the Tilden Nature Area above Kensington one week a month. These beautiful open spaces allow us to learn in a variety of ways and connect with nature. We appreciate, respect, and inquire about the legacy of life in this region. We recognize that we are on xučyun (Huichin) Ohlone land whose landscapes and relationships have changed immensely over time. We work on learning some Chochenyo Ohlone names for plants and animals to honor the resilience of indigenous people. We do our best to care for the land and animals.


We marvel at the knowledge that has been shared and developed by people over time. We observe and engage with one another in safe and kind ways to practice and strengthen skills in developing our understanding of the world around us. 

 OWLS Community Agreements: Be Kind & Be Safe

Brooke’s Open Wilderness Literacy and Science (OWLS) program is an alternative educational experience/outdoor learning pod for children ages 6-11 to connect, grow, and learn together in nature. 

Our neurodiverse group celebrates our unique interests and learning modalities. We enjoy curating a kind and safe community to support our learning in connection with nature and each other. 

We support our understanding and appreciations of difference. We cultivate the understanding that our brains and bodies are unique and that our age and interests can influence our learning. We notice how we all learn and get support in different ways. We pay attention to how animals, plants, and fungi all have similar needs to grow. We also notice how each may grow a bit differently depending on their conditions. When we notice difficulties to thrive, we understand that we can tend to our environment and foster growth.

OWLS Sites, Program Days & Times

We meet at Camp Herms in El Cerrito (three weeks a month) or in the Tilden Nature Area (one week a month) on: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Students may attend 1, 2, or 3 days a week. They may also be dropped off at 9 am or 11am. Pick up is at 3:15pm.

OWLS 2022-2023 Groups

Our 2022-2023 group across Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays consisted of 14 students. Depending on the day, anywhere between 1-8 students were present. Throughout the year, we had: two 6 year olds, three 7 year olds, an 8 year old, four 9 year olds, and four 10-11 year olds. 

Some of our families have been homeschooling for years and some of our families have recently started homeschooling. One of our families was traveling schooling. We enjoyed hosting students throughout the year on visit days.  Three of our students have graduated to middle school. 

OWLS Fall 2023 

Our FALL Term groups for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. 

Sign up for a visit day today! *Receive 50% off your first visit day. **Siblings enrolled together are also eligible for a 5% discount. Email contact@seedsoflovecollective.org to schedule a visit.

OWLS Outdoor Classroom & Curriculum

The outdoor classroom provides a multitude of opportunities to learn and grow in connection with each other and nature through hands-on engagement with our environment. We develop caring relationships as empathetic team members to facilitate independence and collaboration. Our natural experiences and studies inspire a love of learning and literature.

Brooke builds relationships with students to design units of inquiry and study. She documents their explorations through note taking and photographs. Each week, she puts together a community newsletter to share their investigations and discoveries with their families. This newsletter also includes updates, reminders and helpful links to community resources and events, as well as, homework assignments. 

She uses Next Generation Science Standards and California English Language Arts Standards to guide her lesson designs. Literacy & Science instruction is offered through guided reading, novel exploration, and interactive writing.

The curriculum and units of inquiry are inspired by nature! Literacy skills are practiced and strengthened alongside deep investigations into plants, animals, and fungi. Scientific knowledge is expanded upon through guided reading, novel exploration, and interactive writing that supports academic and social-emotional development.

OWLS Skills

We practice:

During our first week, our goal was to practice each skill for at least 5 minutes. During our second week, our goal was to practice each skill for at least 10 minutes

Many activities were so engaging that we spent more than 10 minutes doing them, although we generally took breaks from or switched between activities every 10, 15, or 20 min.

We continue practicing and strengthening these skills throughout the term to build our resilience and stamina.

The children work in their OWLS Notebooks and reference resources in their OWLS folders. 

I am thrilled with how we all are developing our notebooks with our calendars, recording our observations and experiences.

WOW! Wonder, Observe, and Write

Each day, we make time for a WOW! Moment.

OWLS Materials

Each child receives an OWLS folder with helpful resources for writing about their nature experiences and for organizing their materials and works and a personalized OWLS notebook for organizing their works and recording their observations.

OWLS Prep/Homework

If you have time, practice working on the bolded activities for at least 5 minutes each during some of your home days. *These are not intended to be completed in one sitting.

2022-2023 Literacy Projects

OWLS Class Book

We worked diligently to write a book about our program and students. The children helped write the introduction.

As each student joined, they took part in the process of:

We presented and shared our book with our families during a special family visit hour before Fall Break. 

Book Jacket Bios

The class all enjoyed learning about each other's favorite food, favorite outdoor activities and favorite places through writing and publishing our class book. They also began to inquire more about each other's families and pets.

I started to develop a follow up assignment for us to complete our own author bios to be used as part of a book jacket for our own writing projects.

I started this project through a lesson with the children inspired by the following books' author bios:

As we discussed what authors share about themselves, we also discussed how authors know or learn about what they write about.

We talked about how different people have different perspectives, how knowledge changes over time depending on communication and technology, and how some books and movies are not true. For example, ideas that have been spread around Pocahontas and Thanksgiving do not represent what really happened with Native Americans or how they feel. We pay attention to who writes the books or articles we read, when they wrote them, and how they learned the information they are sharing. 

Science Studies

Animal Names

The Tradition of Animal Names, Coyote’s Guide To Connecting with Nature (2016), Nature Names pp.348-350

Animals are regarded as teachers that are recognized for the gifts they offer us. This association strengthens human-creature relationships, peer-to-peer mentoring, and empathy for wild creatures.

Trackers Micro School: Daria’s group: returning students Fall 2020: North American Mammals, Daria & Brooke’s groups: 2020: Birds of Camp Herms, Daria & Brooke’s groups: 2021: North American Reptiles

OWLS 2022: Insects

OWLS 2023: Mammals

2022-2023 Animal Research Reports 

The children spent time developing their skills with researching and learning from a variety of trusted sources in order to construct a multi paragraph essay with an introduction, a body paragraph that helps us all learn more about an animals habitat, diet, characteristics,  another body paragraph on interesting facts and an ending paragraph/conclusion. 

OWLS Daily Schedule

Students have input into our daily setting of goals. We work together to adjust our days according to weather, environment, and areas of interest. 

Sample Daily Schedule

We always make sure to hike, explore and do one sit spot. Snack is always around 10:00 and lunch is always around noon with choice/play time after.  We do an hour of literacy work and allot an hour to practice skills, although these are broken up into smaller chunks of time rather than in one solid hour. Adjustments are made based on weather, environment, and interest. 

Home Study Connections

 Homework is suggested to enrich our studies and allow students to develop independence, responsibility, and accountability. 


OWLS Prep/Homework

If you have time, practice working on the bolded activities for 5-10 minutes each during some of your home days. *These are not intended to be completed in one sitting.


Seeds of Love Collective: OWLS Calendar

2023/2024 Fall, Winter, & Spring Terms 

(Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays)


Fall Term: 15 weeks, 45 days

*Winter Break: December 19th-January 1st

Winter Term: 11 weeks, 33 days

Spring Term: 10 weeks, 30 days